Here’s how to give back in the Baltimore area during this holidays

Dispenser for Bea Gaddy’s 35th Annual Thanksgiving Dinner. Photo courtesy of Bea Gaddy Family Center.

While many people eagerly await the gifts they will receive this holiday season, others are looking for ways to give back.

There are many programs in the Baltimore area that are looking for donors, volunteers, and a helping hand.

Throughout November, IKEA in White Marsh collects new and carefully used coats, scarves, gloves, earmuffs and quilts. Every item collected will be donated to the Bea Gaddy Family Center in Baltimore. The collection bin is located in front of the Full Serve/Delivery area at the exit of the market.

The Bea Gaddy Family Centers is a community-based nonprofit organization that has provided food and other essential supplies to needy families throughout Maryland since 1981. Among other things, the organization collects turkeys, canned vegetables and non-perishable items. They’re also looking for volunteers to help prepare Thanksgiving dinner, pack and deliver groceries, and more. Visit the website for the full wish list, due dates and their many volunteer opportunities.

The Baltimore Ravens Cheerleaders are hosting a game observation party and fundraiser on Sunday, December 11 at the Gameday Firehouse at 1202 Ridgely St. 100% of proceeds benefit the charities of the Ronald McDonald House in Maryland.

Participants can join the Ravens cheerleading team to cheer on the Ravens as the team takes on the Steelers. The free event is open to the public and will feature food and drink specials, door prizes, a 50/50 raffle and a silent auction with a variety of items to choose from including Ravens gear signed by current players and gift cards from local restaurants and much more. People who are unable to attend the event but would still like to donate can do so here.

Toys For Tots is a United States Marine Corps program that collects new toys and distributes them as Christmas gifts to children from less fortunate families. In 75 years, the organization has distributed over 604 million toys to more than 272 million children. Click here to search for Baltimore drop-off locations. December 16th is the final day for the collection effort.

Marques Dent of D.elivering E.ducational N.eeds T.ogether (DENT Group) has partnered with the Northeast Baltimore City Police Department for their 7th Annual Turkey Drive. On Tuesday, November 22nd at 1pm, over 500 turkeys and canned food will be distributed to neurodivergent families. The event will be held at the Northwood Baseball League, 1801 Argonne Drive, with special guests including local business leaders, athletes, entertainers and politicians.

Adopting a family for Christmas is a way to give back to an entire family at once, and there are several organizations across town with adoption programs.

The Baltimore Family Alliance’s Adopt-a-Family program has provided clothing, toys and support to over 1,500 families in need over the years. Families submit wish lists and share children’s favorite colors, characters, teams, and other information to facilitate gift-giving. Donors can expect to spend $40 to $60 per child.

Registration for the House of Ruth’s Adopt-One-Family program is now open and tends to fill up quickly. Donors can expect to spend $100 to $150 per family member. Families of women and children are assigned on a first come, first served basis. But when there are no more families to adopt, you can donate other essentials like pull-ups, diapers, games, grocery and gas station gift cards, or sponsor an emergency hotel placement kit or home starter kit.

The Arc Baltimore’s annual family adoption drive is for people living with family members who have developmental disabilities. The Arc welcomes boxed and named toys, games, socks and slippers, gift cards, bath and body items, art supplies, journals and magazines, books and much more.

Adopt a Family Maryland, a nonprofit that helps families with state support, welcomes donors they call “angels.” Interested people can contact the organization to receive a family wish list.

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